For a first-time breastfeeding mom, a common worry can be: Am I providing enough milk for my baby?
Basically, milk grows with baby, as does mom’s milk supply. Kelley Holt, a lactation consultant with the Mother’s Resource Center, said it starts with colostrum. She calls it a “super food” – the first food baby gets, full of anti-bodies and helps guard against bacteria in the baby’s intestinal tract – first immunization, if you will. A few days later, milk will start to look more like what you’d expect it to. Kelley said the more a mother breast feeds, the more the body will produce milk. A sort of supply and demand process.
Kelley explained, “We encourage our moms to breastfeed at least, in every two to three hours or sooner if baby wants it. So, sometimes babies want to be fed very frequently, which is another factor why it can be hard in the beginning. But, that’s really what helps build that milk supply and the removal of the milk from the breast. So then it goes into the educational piece of teaching a mom how to effectively latch a baby on, so that baby’s really removing the milk from the breast. That tells the body to keep making it.”
Kelley said a mother can breast feed as long and she and her baby choose. She also encourages expectant mothers to take a breast feeding educational course. The Mother’s Resource Center offers classes every month. For more information, click here.